Estonian 1 TWh national gas reserve procurement now complete

Gas pipelines.
Gas pipelines. Source: Freepik

The Estonian Stockpiling Agency (EVK) says it has now met the task set for it by the government, to establish a nationwide natural gas reserve of one Terawatt-hour.

EVK spokesperson Martin Jaško told ERR Monday that "Last spring, the EVK was set a task by the government to form a strategic natural gas reserve for Estonia, up to a total of 1 TWh."

"In total, the EVK carried out six tenders last year, and at the beginning of this year, with the result that this job has been fulfilled, and the contracts signed guarantee a gas reserve of exactly 1 TWh," he went on.

"If we take into account Estonia's annual gas consumption of approximately 3.5 TWh, the country's strategic reserve makes up nearly 30 percent of that, or twice as much as the minimum level jointly agreed upon at EU level.

"Estonia's strategic gas reserve is also a very solid buffer in relation to international comparisons, when mitigating possible supply failures," he went on.

Jaško said the project had come at a difficult time for the EVK, one when the price of natural gas was exceptionally high due to increased market tensions, exacerbated by supply-side issues in the first procurement rounds.

The average purchase price of gas was €157 per MWh through the procurement, the EVK says. Natural gas recently fell below the €80-per-MWh mark.

As to where the 1 TWh is actually stored, this will all be at the underground facility at Inčukalns, Latvia, where 650GWh is already stored and 350 Gwh is due to follow, Jaško said.

The EU last year imposed a requirement on member states to store at least 15 percent of their annual gas consumption in other member states, in the case of countries which o not have sufficient storage capacity in their own territory. As noted, Estonia is storing 20 percent of its annual needs, in Latvia.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mait Ots

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